Text-to-911 system up and running in MN

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 6, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communications developed Text-to-911, which is now available statewide.

In a move that's been long-awaited and much-anticipated, Minnesotans can now send a text to 911 during an emergency when calling isn't possible or safe. It is working as of Tuesday, and has been tested extensively with phones connected to all four major wireless phone service providers.

Officials say a call is still preferable, and that should be the first choice for most people. They say "call if you can, text if you can't".

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Delivery of texts - and the speed of delivery - are also not guaranteed.

And don't forget: the state also bans texting while driving. "Text-to-911 is a lifeline for people who would put themselves in harm's way if they called 911".

"Twenty percent of Minnesotans have some form of hearing loss", said Marie Koehler, regional manager of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services division. Victims of domestic assault, for instance, may risk further injury if an assailant hears they're calling 911 and talking about what is happening. Texting 911 with a false report is a crime.

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